New Leadership for Women’s Glib!

February 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

by MIRANDA

I am thrilled to announce that Elena, blogger and actress extraordinaire, will be the new editor of Women’s Glib.

As for myself, I will be taking a break from blogging to focus on my studies and other pursuits.

Women’s Glib has been a profoundly important part of my life, and it was a unique pleasure to serve as its editor. I’m excited about Elena’s leadership and I look forward to much more feminist conversation!

Life Choices: A 20th Century Book in a 21st Century World

November 19, 2011 § 1 Comment

by ELENA

Are you a white, cisgender, educated, New Agey, feminist woman? If so, then Linda Weber’s book Life Choices: The Teachings of Abortion (published by Sentient Publications) is an excellent book for you. If you are not, then Linda Weber has very little to offer. Weber, a prominent feminist and counselor wrote Life Choices using her experience as an abortion counselor at a women’s clinic in Boulder, Colorado. While Weber’s intentions were good, the execution is far from it.

Like many “second wave” feminist leaders who rose to prominence in the 1970s (I’m looking at you, Gloria Steinem), Weber follows a cissexist, binarist point of view throughout the book when she repeatedly writes about women’s unique/magical/etc ability to bear children. Could someone please inform Ms. Weber that not all women can get pregnant? And that some men can? And that sex and gender is not nearly as cut-and-dried as she makes it out to be?  Weber missed a great opportunity to write about special issues and concerns of nonbinary individuals seeking advice about abortion — an issue that is not mentioned enough in our current reproductive rights dialogue.

Weber does make some good points: a crisis pregnancy and/or abortion can be an opportunity for personal growth and development, and this perspective is refreshing. In writing about the history of the pro-choice movement, she makes a very important point about the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision: Roe  had more to do with establishing physicians’ rights than it did with protecting the health, well-being, and bodily autonomy of people seeking safe abortions.  Unfortunately, these passages get lost among her New Age navel-gazing. I have no issues with those who enjoy meditation and/or worshiping The Divine Feminine, but if your spiritual habits are not of the “woo-woo” variety, you’re not going to enjoy this book. Weber’s message alienates both Christians (surprise: some Christians are feminist!) and skeptics alike. Some of her advice is simply not practical: while I can’t deny the possibility of abortion  via soul-to-soul communication between a fetus and its carrier, I do not think that this a realistic or practical method to recommend to anyone.

Legislators in Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, and Michigan have introduced anti-choice legislation, from increased restrictions to abortion access and funding to even more disturbing proposed “personhood amendments” that would also outlaw most forms of birth control.

Rick Snyder, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, et al want to restrict our bodily autonomy, and bring us back into a world where, like a teenaged Weber, we would have pretend to be married so we could receive an abortion via IUD implantation, and risk an infection. They are not interested in going on a vision quest. They don’t care if we meditate. They are not going to listen politely to us. The personal stories in Lie Choices are touching, but out of place in an increasingly hostile political and social environment.

Now is not the time to get in touch with our inner goddess. Now is the time to hurl bricks.

This review is part of a blog tour hosted by Linda Weber’s publisher, Sentient Publications, who provided me with a review copy. The next blog on the tour is at The Abortion Gang on November 20 and the previous blog on the tour was at The Abortion Monologues. Linda Weber will be doing an actual physical tour of the west coast in February. Please consult her website for more details closer to that date.

KZSU Radio Interview

March 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

by MIRANDA

I was recently interviewed by my friend Molly (of men’s rights commentary fame) on her KZSU radio show. I speak about feminism, blogs, and the recent onslaught of conservative lady hate. Good times.

Click here to listen in and admire my smooth radio voice!

The advice I’ve been waiting for all these years

January 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

by MIRANDA

Search Engine Terms

January 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

by MIRANDA

lolsob.

On #mooreandme, Rachel Maddow, and the curse of “Being Grateful”

December 21, 2010 § 4 Comments

by ELENA

Today, my Internet exploded.

It started with Keith Olbermann inexplicably responding to my tweets about the #mooreandme protest, and ended with Michael Moore’s appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show, which is being filmed live this week at the 92nd Street Y.

The interview can be found here, and I shall paraphrase it as such:

Maddow introduced Moore by discussing when leaked information is inaccurate, and then discussed the specifics of the charges against Julian Assange, which she referred to as “date rape.” She then introduced Michael Moore, who mentioned several interesting things:

1. That he founded a rape crisis center in Flint, Michigan.
2. That he believes that rape allegations should be taken seriously.
3. That he supports WikiLeaks because of how he was raised as a Christian.

No, really.

Now, I am not going to question Moore’s faith, but I wonder if he ever read John 8, in which Jesus saves a “sinning woman” from being stoned to death (the common punishment for any sex-related offense) by saying, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7, NRSV). Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann have encouraged people to throw (figurative) stones at Assange’s complainants by labeling their allegations as “a smear/hooey/a CIA conspiracy/etc.”

After briefly discussing sexual assault, Moore went on to talk about war crimes/Bradley Manning’s detention/etc. Neither Moore nor Maddow mentioned the #mooreandme movement on Twitter by name, and Michael Moore did not apologize for the comments he made on Countdown With Keith Olbermann. Rachel Maddow did not press Moore further on the comments he made, and Maddow has not mentioned the #mooreandme movement on her Twitter page (although it was mentioned on @Maddowblog).

I honestly hope Rachel Maddow didn’t think: “I don’t want to bring up this Moore and Me protest too specifically because I don’t want to piss off the live audience.” I honestly hope Michael Moore didn’t think: “Well, maybe if I say that I really, really, really don’t like rape, and I bring up that one time when I formed a rape crisis center, those feminists on Twitter will stop bothering me.”

There has been a lot of celebration on Twitter about the fact that a prominent filmmaker within the progressive movement did the truly shocking thing of briefly mentioning that sexual assault should be taken seriously. I am not “happy,” “excited,” or “grateful” that Moore said what he did on the Rachel Maddow show tonight. People who expect endless praise for the simple act of recognizing that rape allegations are not something to take lightly remind me of my 8-year-old self, who expected bottomless rewards for doing things like cleaning my room and loading the dishwasher.

I’m sure someone, somewhere out on the Internet (maybe Keith O. himself!) is thinking, “He said rape was bad! Isnt that what you wanted? Why can’t you [optional expletive] feminists be grateful about anything?”

Problem is, “Be Grateful” is a very dangerous phrase.

Workers are told “Why do you want to cause trouble by starting a union? You should be grateful that you even have a job.”

Women are still told “We gave you the vote — what more do you want? Why aren’t you grateful for everything we do for you?”

People whose race and ethnic background aren’t “Caucasian” are told “Look, racial equality comes slowly. You should be grateful for all of the achievements [insert minority racial/ethnic group here] have made already.”

Those who fight for rights of queer identified people are constantly told that progress on marriage equality/the implementation of the DADT appeal/adoption/rights and visibility for the transgender community are constantly told that “Progress comes slowly.”

When my mother was my age, her family were recipients of Christmas food, clothing, and toy drives. She couldn’t complain about eating dented cans of pimentos, or having to wear clothes that didn’t fit, or getting used or broken toys for Christmas because that would make her sound “ungrateful.” When she talks about those Christmases of cheap grace, she starts to cry.

“Be Grateful” frequently means “Don’t ask questions; it’s not your place to ask us why we discriminate against you, withold basic rights from you, or think you only deserve the dented cans of food to eat.” I frequently wonder if people say “Progress Comes Slowly” as a way for justify the harmful systems that do prevent positive change. If we think that progress happens slowly, then, more often than not, we will act slowly.

I will congratulate Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann when they simply apologize for their harmful and inaccurate comments, mention the many talented writers who powered #mooreandme, and pay more attention to how the rape culture harms everyone.

And Keith, if you want proof that feminists are fairly courteous, mature, and not a “reactionary” coven out to get you, I would be more than happy to appear on your show. All I ask in return is that my airfare and hotel costs are covered, and that you show up to your news desk with an open mind.

True Fact:

November 9, 2010 § 2 Comments

by MIRANDA

Women’s Glib still exists! Just existing a little slower than usual.

Welcome, new contributors! (Part Two)

August 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

by MIRANDA

Part One.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the works of Chad, Elena, and Katie E. as much as I have these past weeks. It’s time to introduce the other three new contributors. Here’s the second wave…

Sarah:

Hello! My name is Sarah Rosengarten, I was born and raised in New York City, and will be a freshman at Oberlin College in the fall. My personal heroes are Rachel Maddow, Kathleen Hanna, and Daria Morgendorffer. I love to knit, run, watch Ingmar Bergman movies, and defend The Communist Manifesto to the misinformed masses. I’m thrilled to join Women’s Glib and can’t wait to unleash my feminazi fury to the internet.

Kitti:

Hello! My name is Kitti Asztalos.

I am a 17-year-old, Hungarian student. I study at a bilingual (English-Hungarian) high school, I will be a 12th grader next semester (I am not a senior yet, I still have a 13th year. Long story short: the education system is different). I have been studying English since the tender age of 5, I have also started studying French 3 years ago because my form mistress made my class (it took me 2 years and 3 trips to France to help me get over my hatred of the language). My hobbies are (but not limited to) biking (on almost a religious level), playing and writing music, providing unrequited commentary on movies for my friends and pretty much anyone, creating ensembles that remind me of a movie character and socializing.

I am very interested in popular culture (especially American and European), Generation Y and obviously feminism. However, in Hungary feminism is not very wide-spread, in fact, most girls of my age do not know anything about it, nor are they interested in it.

If my opinions freak you out a bit, I apologize in advance but that’s sort of my intention. I would like you, dearest readers to consider different cultural factors. That’s what I’m bringing. Plus a little bit of sexy back.

Adi:

Hi, all!

My name’s Adi, and I’ve been interested in feminist blogging for the past few years. I became a self-identified feminist (as opposed to subscribing to the tenets but not calling myself one) a few years ago, and the feminist blogosphere provided the resources for me to learn and contribute.

Outside of being a feminist, I’m a huge nerd, and I like to read — I just graduated from college, where I procrastinated on all of my actual work in China Studies by taking classes in deconstructive critical theory and creative writing. I’ve always straddled a weird divide between two fairly gender-imbalanced fields: Literature and politics, where women do most of the legwork but get few of the awards, and technology, where no matter how many women there are, we’re still seen as an elusive endangered species. I thoroughly enjoy both, but feminism has let me put a name to a lot of the problems I’ve seen in them, and convinced me to try to make them better.

I’m hoping to write about feminist/female authors, theory, and the intersection between gender politics and technology policy (Why, for example, is network neutrality a feminist issue? What about Apple’s factory policies?) I’m always looking for open dialogue with people, so please let me know if you have a different perspective on something I’ve said.

Hooray! You can learn more about these fine, smart young people on our Current Contributors page.

I Can Haz Short, Timely Messages From Women’s Glib?

July 21, 2010 § 2 Comments

by MIRANDA

Why, yes. Yes you can.

I have resisted creating a Twitter account, either for personal use or for Women’s Glib, for the sake of my mental health. But, readers, you are extremely lucky because Silvia eschews such resistance! She fearlessly plows ahead into the arena of tiny, cryptic updates full of symbols that I do not understand. (What is #??? And I don’t even want to talk about how many things I thought RT stood for that were not re-tweet.)

Never fear! Thanks to Silvia, we are now on the Twitter. Follow us here. And, if you haven’t already, you can like us on Facebook here.

Welcome, new contributors! (Part One)

July 18, 2010 § 2 Comments

by MIRANDA

Readers, after a few arguably annoying reminders and a surprising number of emails, the Women’s Glib team has chosen six wonderful new contributors: Chad, Elena, Katie E. (not to be confused with former contributor Katie S.), Sarah, Kitti, and Adi. They will be introduced in two waves: half will begin posting this week, and half will start the week of August 9.

I’ll let the first wave of new bloggers speak for themselves…

Chad:

Hi there! I was stumbling one day and stumbled upon Women’s Glib, and I was completely amazed with the work I saw. As an active college student and male feminist I really liked the direction it took, and kept following it. I then came across a post asking for more writers, as a blogger I thought, why not contribute to a feminist blog? I do many things in my spare time, mostly graphic design, web design, internet, and video games. I’m also active in the LGBT community in my area, as a genderqueer gay male. I’m excited and I hope you enjoy what I write. :)

Elena:

Hello!

My name is Elena, and I am one of the new writers for Women’s Glib! I’ve had some difficulty thinking about what to write for my introductory post: should I make it more personal? Write about a recent issue that gets on my nerves? Post a haiku?

I’ll mostly talk about myself, because I’m terrible at writing haikus.

Since I’ve been away for the weekend, for a wedding reception, I haven’t been able to keep up-to-the-minute tabs on everything going on with feminism/the feminist blogosphere/news and politics in general. In fact, a wedding reception is one of those times when people are encouraged not to talk about Unpopular Subjects such as sex, religion, politics, etc. In fact, not having to hear my cousins rant and rave about the newest Glenn Beck book (which they did during Thanksgiving) was a small miracle.

But at the same time, I have a fun habit of pointing out the uncomfortable things that people don’t like to talk about, including Sex, Politics, and Feminism. One of the things that I find so appealing about being an actor is when plays and films hone in on the difficult, uncomfortable subjects. People like to think that actresses are vain, preening, and willing to do anything to get a toothpaste commercial. But the truth is that most actors (especially women) could recite Chekov’s Cherry Orchard by heart, and are doing the casting for the toothpaste commercial because in our society, Chekov doesn’t pay rent as much as Crest does. Being an actor (or at least a performing arts major) makes me more of a feminist. Unless I “make it” (or can “find a man to take care of me”…shudder), I’ll have a difficult time carrying a pregnancy and/or taking care of a child. So ensuring that contraception and abortion are easily accessible, and as affordable as possible, is really important to me. As it stands, my birth control prescription costs just about as much as what my family spends on two weeks worth of groceries. This is just a little screwed up.

Art, pop culture, and media are the things that I have the best grasp on, so expect a lot of writing about the world of television and movies through the eyes of an art student. I’ve also had some interesting experiences (such as spending a year and a half at a women’s college) that I’ll be writing about as well.

And maybe a haiku if I really have writer’s block.

Katie E.:

Hey, Women’s Glib readers!

I’m Katie, and I am one of the three new contributors. This is my first experience with blogging, and I’m really looking forward to it. I am extraordinarily grateful to Miranda for allowing me to become a contributor.

I’m 16, I live in Virginia, and I’ll be a high school junior in the fall. I’ve identified as a feminist for almost four years, after I read this book. More on that in an upcoming blog post.

I read a lot, especially Young Adult books, and hope to eventually post some reviews of YA books from a feminist point of view. Contrary to the typical man-hating feminazi, I also enjoy baking and knitting.

I hope to cover a broad spectrum of issues in my posts here at Women’s Glib. In particular, I have interests in birth and pregnancy politics, size acceptance, and ageism, but I expect to write about anything and everything.

Since the writers at Women’s Glib are responsible for moderating our own comments, I’ll tell you now that I’m pretty lax about comment content, and I enjoy a good debate, but I will be following the Women’s Glib commenting policy, which means I will not tolerate hate speech, derailing, or personal attacks. Because of my age and my desire to write about issues that affect young people and children, ageism in particular is something I hope to not see in comments.

If you ever feel like I am ignoring a subject or showing my personal privilege, I encourage you to inform me of that thought the comments. I strongly believe we can’t fight kyriarchy unless we are willing to acknowledge our mistakes and learn.

Like I said before, I am so glad to be writing here, and I hope you will enjoy my posts!

I hope you’re as excited as I am to welcome these writers to the blog. You can learn more about them on our new Current Contributors page. Thanks to all the candidates who emailed me; my co-bloggers Phoebe and Silvia can confirm that choosing new writers was a difficult and thoughtful process. Check back soon to hear from the second wave of contributors!

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